Abstract

Drawing on data and surveys of atheists located primarily in the state of Illinois in the US, we offer insights into both the beliefs of those who have left religions in general – in our particular case, atheists – and explore how confident atheists are that they have made the correct decision. We explore how dogmatic atheists are with their new beliefs and address the questions: Are atheists open to the possibility that they are wrong? Are atheists likely to change their minds? We find that some atheists are open to the possibility that they are wrong and changing their minds.

In: Handbook of Leaving Religion

Previous research has found that people make religious attributions under certain conditions. In this study, we used causally ambiguous vignettes to confirm some previous findings regarding religious attributions and extend these findings by testing: (a) whether implicit priming increased the odds of making causal attributions, and (b) whether atheists also exhibit an attribution bias. Like previous studies, we found that people who were less religious (i.e., atheists in our study) were substantially less likely to make religious causal attributions. Unlike previous studies, we found that atheists were more likely to attribute events to probability and/or luck. We also found, like previous studies, that religious people were more likely to make causal attributions when presented with vignettes involving health-related or life-and-death situations but not with quotidian events, like losing one’s keys. Finally, we found no effect for implicit religious priming.

In: Archive for the Psychology of Religion